From Tempe, Arizona, USA:
Does diabetes cause your toes to turn purple?
The short answer is yes, sometimes. However, purple toes are not specific to diabetes. For instance, purple toes can be symptomatic of poor or insufficient blood flow, poor venous return out of the foot, it can occur as a result of a condition known as Raynaud's phenomenon (where cold exposure initiates the problem), or it can occur as a problem where no treatment is necessary. Diabetes is associated with poor blood blow because of narrowing of the blood vessels and poor regulation of blood flow when neuropathy is present. You need to have your doctor sort out which of the causes is associated with your purple toes. The doctor can do this by taking a history, performing an exam, and considering several tests where necessary.
Warning symptoms indicating a more severe problem include pain in the legs or buttocks with walking (known as claudication), the development of ulcers over the feet or toes, and the presence of pain. If you have any of the warning symptoms, please see your physician as soon as possible.
Original posting 20 Feb 2001
Posted to Complications
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:17
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